Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November 11, 2015

Narendra Modi govt announces FDI reforms in 15 major sectors

Narendra Modi led government on Tuesday eased FDI norms in 15 major sectors, including mining, defence, construction, real estate, civil aviation, broadcasting and LLPs to boost growth and drum up investment. It also raised FIPB approval limit to Rs 5,000 crore from Rs 3,000 crore. “The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalise and simplify the process of foreign investments into the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic route instead of government route where time and energy of the investors are wasted,” the government said. While 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) has been allowed in DTH, cable network and plantation crop, overseas investment limit in uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels has been raised to 49 per cent from 26 per cent. The government relaxed conditions for FDI in single-brand retail and allowed 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in duty-free shops and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and eased foreign…

Girls just want some space

The right to just be such as to enjoy a public space without being asked questions or harassed is denied to the majority of women. Why? With her shock of flaming red hair, you cannot miss Mona Eltahawy. This gutsy young Egyptian journalist, author and feminist, was by far the most striking presence at the recent Tata Literature Live in Mumbai. But more than her appearance, it’s what she said that struck a chord. As a journalist and an activist demanding democracy and freedom, Mona was one of the thousands who flocked to Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011 in what came to be known as the Arab Spring. But the promise of freedom was never realised. Worse, as Mona said, “During the revolution in Egypt, men and women came and fought together. But once it was over, women went back to being oppressed.” Kalpana Sharma Mona was one of several women at the receiving end of physical and sexual assault at the hands of the police. But what disappointed her more was the attitude of some of the men who wer…

It all adds up to make perfect sense

Women plus maths plus what Chanda Kochhar’s saying about MBA entrance exams Chanda Kochhar walked into the eye of a storm when, at a CII summit on human resources, she said, “The MBA entrance exams are so quantitative-oriented that it keeps out more and more women from joining the MBA classes. If we were to make the entrance exams more all-rounded, you could see more participation.” This is the era of outrage and within minutes of this report, predictably, most champions of gender equality were outraged. Some women dusted off twenty 20-year-old report cards and pointed to their near perfect score in mathematics, while others snorted at Kochhar’s suggestion and advised that deeply ingrained sexism that discourages ambition, assertiveness and self-worth are the reasons for the lack of women in business schools. Both of these arguments are correct — there are women who consistently ace mathematics, and there certainly exists sexism that discourages ambition in girls — yet the inability …

Review reservations

Political pundits are of the view that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s views on reservations — that they should be ‘reviewed’ — played a role in the BJP’s loss in Bihar. To be fair to Bhagwat, he has a point, except that he is the wrong person to talk about the subject. The RSS lacks the credentials — with its upper caste leadership and sensibility — to openly discuss social justice in contemporary India. However, the question of whether reservations, in jobs, higher education and legislatures, should be fine-tuned in keeping with changing socio-economic realities has been raised earlier. For instance, a paper, Redesigning Affirmative Action by Yogendra Yadav and Satish Deshpande (Economic and Political Weekly, June 17, 2006) argues for a nuanced, multiple-indicator-based approach to deprivation in the case of ‘other backward classes’. While OBCs as a whole are a disadvantaged category, they are also a heterogeneous lot, with divergences between and within OBC group…

What to expect from Modi’s U.K. visit

Officials brace for protests over Gujarat riots Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in London on Thursday for a three-day visit, focused on defence and strategic ties between India and the U.K. as well as economic relations. Deals worth a reported $18 billion are expected to be signed during the visit. The highlight of the visit, however, is expected to be the address to Indians and NRIs at London’s Wembley stadium, with over 60,000 expected to attend. Significantly, Mr. Modi will be introduced at Wembley by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron who will also accompany him through most of the visit, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said. Mr. Modi’s visit to the U.K. comes days after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s crushing defeat in the Bihar elections. But the government on Tuesday announced 15 key reforms in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). “While a big win in Bihar before the Wembley event would have been amazing, there is no doubt the PM’s address will enthuse his supporters in the …

Will visit India soon, says Israel PM Netanyahu

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would be visiting India “soon.” Mr. Netanyahu will be the second Israel PM to visit India. In 2003, the then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had travelled to India and it took 12 years before India reciprocated in the form of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Israel last month. Mr. Mukherjee had invited Mr. Netanyahu to India. Mr. Netanyahu’s reference to visiting India came while answering a question about his vision for Israel at the Center for American Progress on Tuesday. “There are three things other countries want from Israel…..first, Israeli technology, second, Israeli technology and third, Israeli technology. Whether it is India, which I will be soon going to visit, or any other country,” he said, adding that his plan was to make Israel into a technological powerhouse. India-Israeli relations have turned more intense and demonstrative ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014. Mr. Modi plans to visit Isr…